On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being spicy food tolerance of a 6 month old and 10 being aye caramba bring it on, I register somewhere around -6. I’m just a damn wimp when it comes to hot peppers. I’ll admit it. Sometimes I cough to death, sometimes I cry. Red pepper flakes must be used with a very gentle hand in my presence and the mere mention of ghost peppers is down right terrifying. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love the flavor (perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment??) and it doesn’t mean that I don’t crave spicy food sometimes. It just means I take down a lot of sour cream and avocado with my heat.
I love this recipe, it’s a go-to easy meal and, like most of my favorite recipes, a one-dish meal. Rick Bayless really knows what he’s doing with spice. I first made it several years ago and it’s been in my repertoire ever since. It’s great year round meal, since spicy is warming in the winter, but perfectly seasonal in the summer heat and it uses canned ingredients, so you don’t need to worry about your tomatoes being in season.
I’m warning you, depending on how hot your jalapeños are, this dish can be VERY spicy. This time round, I didn’t even use the full 1/4 cup that was called for, and I still found it blazing. If you, like me, lilt to the wimpy side when it comes to spice, I’d only use a couple tablespoons of the hot peppers. Though, did you know that spicy foods can spike your metabolism? They can, they’re good for you! So maybe be heavy-handed with the peppers :)
Oh you noticed? There are two kinds of fish up there in that photo. I just used whatever I had on hand (tilapia and cod-cod is always better)…this recipe isn’t fussy. In fact, I think this would be excellent with shrimp, or even chicken or pork.; you would just have to adjust your cooking time appropriately. SO next time you want a good, one-dish, easy-peasy, SPICY meal, make this one. Sweat a little bit. It’s good for you.
Baked Jalapeño Fish and Potatoes
From Everyday Mexican by Rick Bayless. Serves 4.
1 lb yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick
1 T olive oil
1, 15 oz can diced, fire-roasted tomatoes in juice
1/2 c loosely packed cilantro
2 large garlic cloves, cut in half
1/4 c canned pickled jalapeños
1 T jalapeño pickling juice
4 5-oz skinless fish supplies (preferably ~3/4″-1″ thick)
- Heat oven to 400°F
- Place the potatoes in a microwave-safe 8×8″ dish in a single layer, toss with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap, poke holes in the top, and microwave on high for 4-5 min or until potatoes are nearly tender
- Place tomatoes and juice, cilantro, garlic, jalapeños and juice in a blender and blend until nearly smooth
- Lay the fish in a single layer over the potatoes, then pour the sauce over
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with a fork
- Serve with avocado and greek yogurt (or sour cream)